Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 292
[Duplicate of page 259]
Submitted herewith report on German Mines, exploded 4th January, 1915, on Kaba Kaul - Bita Paka road, for your information.
Lieut. Goadby and myself, having been instructed by O.C. Herbertshohe Garrison to report on the advisability of blowing up the mines that were believed to be in the vicinity of the first trench, proceeded to Kaba Kaul on the morning of the Jan 4th.
Mr. Young (Gunner R.A.N.) was also of the party, and, with his assistance, the wire lead of No. 2 Mine was found in the bush close to the road. This wire had been cut just above the ground, and about 6 feet from the roadway.
The lead was uncovered, and found to run along the bottom of a trench, about 3ft. 6 in. below the surface, and in the direction of the centre of the road.
When the charge was reached, it was found to consist of Noble's dynamite, placed inside a hollow steel tube 4 in. in diam. and 21ft in height (length). The tube was completely filled with dynamite - I should say approx. 1 cwt.
This tube was placed in the bottom of a trench, about 4ft. deep, running down the centre of the road, and was covered with a large quantity of stone and scrap iron. The mine was laid to fire by electricity, and I am of opinion that it failed to fire owing to bad insulation.
It was decided to fire the mine for the sake of safety, and a Commercial Cap (No. 6) and Fuze had to be used. When the explosion took place stones and scrap iron were thrown clearn above the tree tops (at least 200 ft. high) and a large hole 28ft. long and 15ft. wide, and about 9ft. deep torn in the roadway.
A second mine, shown on sketch as No. 1, was found by a working party under Lieut. Bond while repairing the road. Its position was only 25 yards from No. 2 Mine, and I should think it was the intention of the Germans to fire both mines at once. It was laid in the same way as No. 2 Mine, in a trench dug down the centre of the road, and consisted of approx. 1 cwt. of dynamite enclosed in a similar steel tube and covered with stones and scrap iron. This mine was removed and exploded in the bush some distance from the road.
(Sgd.) Roy Marsden, Lieut.